Item #5000622 The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, edited by "Boz" Charles DICKENS.
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, edited by "Boz"

The posthumous papers of the Pickwick Club.
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, edited by "Boz"

Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard, 1836.

Five volumes, small octavo; original quarter pink cloth and plain boards, printed spine labels; preserved in separate folders contained together in a quarter morocco bookform slipcase.

The rare Philadelphia Pickwick: Count Suzannet's set

Pickwick in its earliest book form: Dickens' first great work, completed when he was just 24. This very scarce first American edition predated the English book edition, at a time before any international forms of copyright, a practice that was to cause its author great annoyance. The first four volumes of this Philadelphia edition were published between November 1836 and September 1837. The one-volume book edition in England was not issued until November 1837, with the fifth volume of this American edition appearing in December.

Pickwick in its earliest book form: Dickens' first great work, completed when he was just 24. This very scarce first American edition predated the English book edition, at a time before any international forms of copyright, a practice that was to cause its author great annoyance. The first four volumes of this Philadelphia edition were published between November 1836 and September 1837. The one-volume book edition in England was not issued until November 1837, with the fifth volume of this American edition appearing in December.

Only about 1500 copies of the first volume were issued, but as Dickens' popularity grew, later volumes appeared in greater quantities and volumes 1 and 2 were re-issued. In this set, once in the famous Suzannet collection of Dickens, volume 1 is in its rare first state, while volume 2 is in its second issue form.

With this set is the letter from the Rosenbach Company offering it to Count de Suzannet, the Dickens collector, for the very substantial 1932 price of $585 (citing the $600 made by a copy at Jerome Kern's 1929 sale). For the relationship between Rosenbach and Suzannet, see Frank A. GIbson, "A Great Bookseller", in The Dickensian Vol. 57, Issue 334 (1 May 1961).

Detailed summary: first issue of volume one (no mention of 'part first' on title or spine label, verso of title with note "Dickinson & Ward, Printers", 2pp. advertisements at front listing only "Watkins Tottle" and two sections of 8pp. and 4pp. at end with advertisement for two further works by Boz on verso of final leaf of text p.[220]), second issue of volume two with 'part second' on title and spine label and 'sporting' on sixth line only, volumes 3-5 each with advertisements (3: 4 pp. at front and 4 pp. at end, 4: 4 pp. at front, 5: 4 pp. at front and 14 pp. at end).

Provenance: Rosenbach Company, New York; sold in 1932 to Count Alain de Suzannet, Lausanne (his bookplates and original Rosenbach offer letter); Sotheby's, 22 November 1971, lot 26; Frank Fletcher (decorative bookplate); Sotheby's, 11 July 2002, lot 183; private collection (Sydney).

Gimbel, A19; Smith, First American Editions, 2.

Condition Report: Some spotting or staining; joints to vols 2, 3 and 5 neatly repaired and strengthened at top and tail; new endpapers to vol. 5; boards a bit worn and spine labels rubbed with some loss of lettering.

Price (AUD): $8,500.00

US$5,651.71   Other currencies

Ref: #5000622

Condition Report